NFL Mock Draft 2013: Teams That Will Reach for Their Biggest Need

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2013

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20:  Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Tennessee Volunteers rushes against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the NFL draft, teams have different strategies on how they go about selecting their players.

Some go for best player available no matter their need, which Seattle knows very well from drafting Russell Wilson. Others specifically draft for need, which many teams will consider this season with such a defense-heavy draft.

No matter the strategy, some teams will ultimately reach for their "guy" over all else. Let's see which teams fall under that category and will reach for their player this year (teams italicized below).

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

It seems the Chiefs will settle for a tackle and would be wise to draft Joeckel as their selection. The Texas A&M product has experience blocking for a wide-open offense, similar to what Andy Reid will employ with Alex Smith at the helm.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The Jaguars need defensive line help, and Floyd will provide an immediate impact in both the run game and pass rush.

3. Oakland Raiders: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

 The Raiders are known for taking athletic specimens in the draft. They would be right on selecting Jordan, who has the potential to be an unstoppable force on the edge.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Fisher is in the top tier of offensive tackle prospects, but considering needs of teams behind them, this would be a reach for the Eagles.

The next time a tackle will considered is at the No. 11 spot (San Diego), so if the Eagles would be satisfied with either Fisher or Lane Johnson, they could trade down a couple spots and still get their guy.

A trade could be in the works with Dee Milliner still on the board and many quarterback-hungry contenders. No official word yet, but potential deals will hit the rumor wire as draft day gets closer.

Nevertheless, the Eagles would be excited to have a new tackle to begin their offensive foundation under Chip Kelly.

5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Another team that would be happy for their coveted player to fall, the Lions would be a match made in heaven for Milliner.

Detroit’s scouting department has swung and missed in the cornerback department for years, so the team would finally get their sure thing in the Alabama product.

6. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

The Browns still need a ton of help on offense, but this is a defensive draft with plenty of potential to upgrade talent.

Jones would bring a seminal force to the Browns defense. They have a bend-but-don’t-break squad at the moment, but Jones has an innate playmaking ability that he showed off in big-time games at Georgia.  

7. Arizona Cardinals: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

At one point last year, Wilson was at the top of NFL prognosticators' draft boards, but an awful situation at Arkansas last season hurt his draft stock significantly. 

The perception of Wilson will change after his pro day, and he will shoot up draft boards as a top QB prospect.

New coach Bruce Arians will want a signal-caller that can make all the throws in his quick-strike offense. Frankly, I can’t trust anyone currently on Arizona’s roster. As a result, the top quarterback on the board couldn’t hurt.

8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Buffalo will be looking to improve a non-existing passing game (with Ryan Fitzpatrick no longer a Bill), and they’ll take Patterson even though this may be too early for a wideout.

The best talent in the draft is on defense, while offensive depth takes hold in later rounds. To that point, the Bills may be better served taking best player available, but with Patterson looking like Julio Jones-light, they’ll have to take their chances.

The Bills will likely go to quarterback with their next pick, with this writer thinking that Ryan Nassib reunited with his old coach is a real possibility.

9. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

The Bills may pass on a quarterback, but their division rival will have no trouble pulling the trigger. The Jets may have to pay Mark Sanchez through at least next season, but having a future star in the wings could pay off in a few years.

Smith has the rocket arm that the Jets love (Sanchez can sling it, albeit not accurately) and would thrive in a play-action offense that the team envisions.

He won’t be ready for a full-time gig unless he’s put in a situation with a powerful running game, so sitting on the Jets bench would be a huge developmental plus for Smith. He would be able to learn more about the NFL decision making and practice short to intermediate throwing.

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Chance Warmack lacks any glaring weaknesses at the guard position and could start on opening day for Tennessee. The Titans have many holes to fill, and offensive line is a good place to take a safe bet.

11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

San Diego has a big hole at offensive tackle but would finally have a protector of Philip Rivers in Johnson. The Oklahoma product impressed at the NFL Combine and will continue to do so as a rookie.

12. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

The Dolphins have been rumored to be looking at Osi Umenyiora, but Ansah may match the former New York Giants’ production in a Jason Pierre-Paul frame.

Ansah’s selection has been all over the mock draft board, but the Dolphins would not pass on his potential at the spot.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

The Buccaneers were one of the league’s worst defenses overall, so there needs to be a shakeup in Tampa. Rhodes falling into their laps would be a saving grace—the future of their defensive backfield would look bright.

14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Richardson may not be a trendy selection, but he'll provide a steady presence on the Panthers defensive line.

15. New Orleans Saints: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

As evidenced by 2012, the Saints need all the help they can get on defense. Lotulelei will be a stalwart on the line, so this looks like a no-brainer selection.

16. St. Louis Rams: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

To stunt Sam Bradford’s growth in 2013, another receiving threat will do. Allen has all the tools to be a top-flight pass catcher, and a team that can give him snaps early on will let him shine.  

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

The Steelers can use an injection of youth on this transitioning defense. Possessing ridiculous potential, Werner could play at multiple spots in Pittsburgh’s unique system.

18. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

The Cowboys used to fish for talent over need and hoped it all would come together. By drafting a tackle, they would build at a position where they’ve needed to for years.

Fluker is a behemoth prospect that should protect Tony Romo’s backside in what will be another make-or-break year for the Dallas QB. 

19. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

When people think of the Giants’ past draft selections, they think of defensive end after defensive end. Now the back seven needs some assistance.

The G-Men will get their man out of Athens, Ga. Ogletree is a three-down linebacker with star potential and the ability to guard slot receivers and tight ends.

20. Chicago Bears: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

With coach Marc Trestman leading the Bears, Chicago will look for an offensive game changer in Eifert. While the offensive line still scares Bears’ fans, Eifert will be a matchup nightmare in the slot.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas

Vaccaro will shore up a pass defense that needs to give Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger issues in order to have any shot in the AFC North.  

22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The Rams would improve their receiving core drastically by picking up Amendola’s replacement. St. Louis would have the look of a contender in a year’s time.  

23. Minnesota Vikings: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

The Vikings have to come away with a receiver in this first round. Hopkins is as good a pick as any here.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

The Colts would be going for the best player available and also would be pretty happy with Mingo falling here. Any help to the Colts defense is essential as they are due to face a much tougher schedule in 2013.

25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

The Vikings stink of desperation for another receiver even with Hopkins in tow, so they’ll reach a bit for Hunter, who’s likely a second-round pick if the Vikings pass on him.

The Tennessee wideout, though, has all the potential to be just as good as his former teammate Patterson, who’s going in the No. 8 slot in this mock draft. He’s a better route-runner and possesses stronger hands in traffic.

26. Green Bay Packers: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama

The Packers offensive line needs a boost, yet you wouldn’t know it with Aaron Rodgers at the quarterback position. Jones will bring a championship pedigree to the NFL’s Titletown.

27. Houston Texans: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

There’s worry that Houston will fall out of the AFC ranks if it can’t find a dynamic offensive player in the passing game. Ertz could do wonders down the seam with Matt Schaub there and would be an ideal replacement for James Casey.

28. Denver Broncos: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

An absolute steal here in a former top-10 prospect, Moore in a Broncos uniform would quiet down the critics from the Elvis Dumervil fiasco.

29. New England Patriots: Matt Elam, SS, Florida

Elam would be a perfect injection of hard-nosed football in the Patriots secondary. Bill Belichick has a history of taking Gator stars, one that will continue in 2013.  

30. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The Longhorn defensive end has impressed during this scouting process and would improve Atlanta’s line play in 2013.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

San Francisco’s defensive backfield may be its only weakness. The 49ers will address that need by staying in the Pacific Northwest.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

A fearless organization will pull the trigger on Te’o, and not many teams bypass character issues more than the Ravens.

Baltimore will make this selection knowing Te’o has something to prove on the football field—that motivation will be the key to this pick.

Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow his NFL draft analysis on Twitter.


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